Technology: The invisible power behind creativity in turbulent times

Shane LaBounty, Creative Operations Leader

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We’ve all had to adapt to the unpredictable, respond to fast-changing circumstances, and adjust our priorities at speed this year. So it was entirely apt that the theme of 2020’s premier global creativity conference, Adobe MAX, was “expect the unexpected.”

Creative teams have been adapting to an increasingly dynamic and digital work environment—one that can seem disruptive and chaotic — for years. But the level of stress and upheaval brought about by a global pandemic made it clear that cultivating creativity in our “never normal” world of work has become a truly epic challenge.

Against this backdrop, Adobe MAX offered a welcome opportunity to pause, take stock, and convene—virtually—with creative leaders, luminary speakers, artists, musicians, technology specialists, and creators from around the world. MAX was an entirely digital experience, of course, uniquely immersive and engaging, with more than 350 inspirational sessions—all free of charge.

Technology powers the creative process.

Looking at MAX’s themes through a work management lens, there was so much to inspire disruption-weary creative teams. There was the reassurance that everyone is experiencing similar challenges and uncertainties, that creativity will always be a valued and fundamental skill, and that with “technology as the invisible and powerful undercurrent of the creative process,” so beautifully said by Adobe CEOO Shantanu Narayen, creative teams can still deliver standout campaigns amid the swirling uncertainty of global events. When it comes to making sense of work priorities and progress, and managing widely dispersed teams, creative teams can—and should—rely on technology to take the strain.

In his rallying keynote address to open MAX, Narayen championed the importance of creativity in these turbulent times. He spoke passionately about the power of digital experiences to change the world and help us all adjust to the new realities of life and work. He hailed technology as the undercurrent fueling the creative process. He emphasized the opportunity we all must harness technology to accelerate productivity and collaboration, make time for creative, high-value work, and unlock innovation that will change work as we know it—for the better.

Integrate technology and watch creativity flourish.

In the Adobe MAX session “Three Ways to Build a Remote Creative Team Tailored to Today’s Work,” Shane LaBounty, creative operations leader at CenturyLink, spoke powerfully to the creativity conference’s core themes. His thought-provoking session attracted nearly 11,000 registrants and illuminated how creative teams working remotely can continue to deliver impactful campaigns by embracing and integrating the right tools and technologies.

LaBounty explained how his team used remote work to their advantage by integrating Workfront with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). He offered practical tips on how to empower creative teams to create, deliver, and measure their work—from anywhere—by integrating their favorite tools into one platform for all work. LaBounty conveyed the importance of integrating technology to bring order and standardization to end-to-end creative work processes, accelerate collaboration across functions, and empower creatives to do what they do best: create.

LaBounty’s creative team has always worked remotely, thanks to a mindset that, quite simply, people do their best work when they live where they are happiest. So when COVID-19 struck, his team was already ahead of the curve. Throughout the pandemic, LaBounty transformed his creative team from a request-led, responsive function to a planning-led operation delivering major integrated campaigns—digital resilience at its finest.

Digital resilience will see us through turbulent times.

The uncertainty of our digital age will persist. As markets and economies continue to fluctuate in response to the unprecedented challenges of our times, only the most digitally resilient creatives, marketing teams, and enterprises will thrive. To keep creating and innovating from wherever they work, teams need to harness the invisible power of technology. As Narayen conveyed in his keynote, “it is creativity and ingenuity that will allow us to emerge stronger.” Our digital resilience depends on it.

Listen to LaBounty’s MAX session, “Three Ways to Build a Remote Creative Team Tailored to Today’s Work,” or access the session slides to learn more about enabling remote creative teams and powering creative processes with technology.